Parliament to investigate disappearance of leather-bound copies of Constitution

2019-06-13 19:10
(Jenni Evans/News24)

(Jenni Evans/News24)

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Parliament is looking into the disappearance of dozens of leather-bound copies of the Constitution that were meant for incoming members of the sixth democratic Parliament.

As is standard practice, each MP signs for and is provided with a copy of the Constitution, a document that they have sworn an oath or affirmation to "obey, respect and uphold".

However, some members were unable to get theirs.

DA MP Natasha Mazzone, speaking to News24, said: "I raised this issue in the weekly programming meeting this morning as members, who went to collect their copies of the Constitution, were told that there were none left because they had been stolen.

"While many MPs did get their copies, many are now without one. Some were told to put their names on a list and when more Constitutions arrive, they would be informed.

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"It is one of the tools of the trade that is handed out to all members. It is the sacrosanct document of Parliament. I was told that the speaker would immediately investigate the disappearance of the leather-bound books.

"I am pleased that this issue is being taken seriously as it cannot be that members do not receive theirs, it is essential for our jobs. We need to find out where the documents have gone, urgently," said Mazzone.

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise confirmed to News24 on Thursday that there would be an investigation into the matter.

"We got a report this morning, members said some people took too many [copies of the Constitution], they are beautiful, they are leather-bound.

"So we are going to follow up and we will make sure that all members, who must get their leather-bound copies, get them. I'm taking a very dim view of anybody who takes what is not his or hers, so we're going into that investigation and we are sure we will get them because you know there are security cameras all over."

Former deputy finance minister Mondli Gungubele was one of the unfortunate ones to have missed out.

Heading over to collect his copy from the table, where only minutes before a man had stood with his hands filled with the small brown tanned leather book, a visibly puzzled Gungubele wondered out loud where he should get his.

It is unclear whether he eventually managed to get his hands on one.

Read more on:    natasha mazzone  |  parliament

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